Auntie Dote is HBI's answer to the usual, treacly, self-help advice columnists.

Disclaimer: This isn't an advice website. Yet from time to time we receive email asking for the Heartlessly Bitchy point of view. If you need serious medication, therapy or professional help, seek elsewhere. However, if you still insist on soliciting OUR advice, just remember...


All submissions become the property of HBI and by sending email to Auntie Dote you thereby give your permission for letters and responses (sans identifying information) to be published on the website. No emails will be answered individually.

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Ask Auntie Dote
The Auntie Dote for what ails you...

Jan 15, 2006

(Dear Auntie Dote),

I'd like your input.

In the five years before I met my boyfriend, he only dated one other  woman briefly.  I can tell you without exaggerating that he is compassionate, kind, and treats me as an equal.  The "friends first" approach did not work with the women he pursued before me.  He thought that he was unlucky.

I think that it was his choice of women - that he chose women who,  for whatever reason, did not value the qualities in him that I do.

What is your opinion on this issue?



Dear M,

Your intuition sounds right. He may have had some superficial reasons for pursuing the wrong kind of women, or as you say, women who didn't value him for those qualities he has to offer. (Guys acting irrationally around chicks? Yeah, it's been known to happen.)

It may not be his fault. It can be hard to tell if the objects of one's early infatuations are prone to deep insights into character, short of trial and error. This builds experience, maybe he figured some things out in the dating process. We all have to. Who hasn't had an unwise crush on someone really, really unlikely to value you for your inner qualities and/or self-delusions? If I had a rock band, "Inappropriate Boyfriends" would be the first song I'd kick out (and I'm sure everyone could sing a chorus). It's part of the comedy of life.

So, I'm not sure what kind of broader point you want us to make with this, but it sounds like you are happy with this guy, so carry on. Is there some problem you're not telling us about? Are you *looking* for problems? It's almost like you're blaming him for circumstances which played to your advantage (i.e., what it was that kept him single until he met YOU).

A very basic rule of thumb about fair and happy dating is: (Unless there are red flags jumping out all over the place) don't overanalyze or judge the shit that happened before you even knew each other .  I had a boyfriend once who was so jealous, he stole my diaries (a disgusting violation in itself) just so he could get worked up about all the guys I dated before him. SHEESH! [See "Inappropriate Boyfriends," chorus 15, line 11.]

So you see how looking for character flaws in your mate by dredging up their romantic history can be a mistake? Maybe you shouldn't worry about it. Just be happy you're way smarter than those other women.

You're smarter = You win. And if you guys stay together because he appreciates it, then fine, and if not, guess what? You'll always have you.


Copyright© "Auntie Dote" & Heartless Bitches International ( 2000
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